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Demanding Transparency

Apr 20, 2017

Groups demand transparency on Oroville Dam spillway repairs

A coalition of environmental groups that had warned Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway was fatally flawed long before it nearly washed away this winter is demanding that federal regulators open up dam repair plans for public vetting.

In a filing Wednesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a coalition of environmental groups led by Sacramento-based Friends of the River also said it was concerned that the state Department of Water Resources is only going part way in repairing the emergency spillway.

Sacramento Bee

Disaster expert says spillway emergency ‘developed and propagated’ by DWR:  “A disaster expert’s review of the Oroville Dam spillway emergency says the Department of Water Resources could have prevented everything with better design, better construction and better maintenance.  Robert Bea prepared the report published Monday.  Bea is a former engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and UC Berkeley professor who helped found the university’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management. He has worked on numerous disasters and was recognized by the U.S. Senate for his review of what went wrong during Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast BP oil spill. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Disaster expert says spillway emergency ‘developed and propagated’ by DWR

State Senator Jim Nielsen vexed by bad communication at dam crisis:  “State Sen. Jim Nielsen is troubled that residents below a damaged California dam knew little about potential risk until ordered to evacuate when a spillway began breaking up.  The republican senator says communication from state managers during the February crisis at Oroville Dam was confusing to the public. Sen. Nielsen’s district includes the Oroville Dam and its damaged spillway.  On Feb. 7, a massive crack opened in the main spillway at the dam. For days, managers assured the public there was no imminent danger as they slowed releases of water to assess the damage. … ”  Read more from the ABC 10 here:  State Senator Jim Nielsen vexed by bad communication at dam crisis